No black woman has ever served on the high court. But the decision is also coming at a critical time of national reckoning over race and gender inequality.
President Joe Biden strongly affirmed Thursday that he will nominate the first black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court, declaring such historic representation is “long overdue” and promising to announce his choice by the end of February.
In a White House ceremony marking a moment of national transition, Biden praised retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, who will have spent nearly 28 years on the high court by the time he leaves at the end of the term, as “a model public servant at a time of great division in this country.”
And with that the search for Breyer’s replacement was underway in full. Biden promised a nominee worthy of Breyer’s legacy and said he’d already been studying the backgrounds and writings of potential candidates.
"I’ve made no decision except one: The person I will nominate will be somebody of extraordinary qualifications, character and integrity," he said. “And that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court. It is long overdue.”
Biden’s choice will be historic on its face: No black woman has ever served on the high court. But the decision is also coming at a critical time of national reckoning over race and gender inequality. However, the court’s 6-3 conservative majority is destined to remain intact.
Biden is using his choice to fulfill one of his early campaign promises, one that helped resurrect his moribund primary campaign and propel him to the White House in 2020.
And it gives him the chance to show black voters, who are increasingly frustrated with a president they helped to elect, that he is serious about their concerns, particularly with his voting rights legislation stalled in the Senate. It also could help drive Democratic enthusiasm amid concerns about a midterm routing in congressional races.
Who could be Biden's choice for the Supreme Court? Watch the interview with Euronews reporter Ray Suarez in the video player above.